Post # 1
I’ve mostly posted on the Waiting board, but I’ve decided that I could use some help from more bees.
I am in a teacher licensure program at a state university. I going to enter a year long (August-May) teaching internship that is required to get my license. I will be unable to work as I will be expected to go to my placement 5 days a week- all day, and to night classes once or twice a week. My weekends will need to be spent on my graduate course work.
I have never made a written budget before, but I’m good at knowing where my money is and where it needs to be. The thing that makes me most nervous is rising gas prices, as I live with my parents in the middle of nowhere and commute about an hour each way to my school/placement (I’ve done that all 4 years of undergrad).
I guess my questions are:
- Where can I find a very simple budget layout? I have no housing/health insurance/ home repair/ etc types of payments, and just need basics like food, fuel, car repairs/insurance, emergency stuff.
- How do you budget for rising prices?
- Also, what do you ladies do to save/make money on the side. I’ve already got an interview for a seond job over the summer, but do any of you do creative things that you do?
Post # 3
I have heard great things about mint.com but have not tried it myself.
A good place to start is to see how much you’re spending on each month for necessities right now. Also, look at what you’re spending on things like going out to dinner, movies, entertainment, etc…
Also, make sure you keep in mind things like vehicle inspections, maintenance, insurance & annual taxes so they don’t creep up on you at the last minute.
As for accounting for rising prices, you kind of have to guesstimate that. Allow yourself enough of a cushion each month so if something does happen you aren’t scrambling or borrowing money.
When I was in college I worked at restaurants because I had class during the day. I also picked up a retail job that I could do during breaks from school and on weekends. I also really liked getting a 20% discount at JCPenney 🙂
I think you’re being really responsible by looking at things ahead of time, you’re definitely on the right track 🙂
Post # 4
We use mint.com for our budget and I really like it. Living off only savings and dealing with rising gas prices isn’t that much different from living off a set monthly income. We have a “misc.” amount built in every month for unexpected things, and we budget conservatively. Inevitably something comes up and it’s nice to have that wiggle room. I’d also say just make sure you have a certain amount of reserve when you apportion out your savings to last over the term. Finally, as a soon-to-be teacher, I’d say pick up some tutoring or babysitting if you can. That tends to be flexible to fit in your schedule and, especially with tutoring, you can make decent money. Oh — also, we car pool. Just try to limit your driving by combining trips, car pooling, etc. and that will save money too.
Post # 5
You have May, June, July to track every single expense for you each month so you can get a good picture of where your money is going.
I use a spreadsheet mainly. It has cateogries like groceries, eat out, clothes, entertainment, health, auto, misc, etc. Simply seeing what you spend helps you start analyze whether it’s necessary or not.
It sounds like you’ll have zero income?
Or are you trying to divvy up a pile of savings to last you the school term?
Post # 6
@sienna76: It is unlikely that i’d be able to hold down a regular-hours job during that time. My advisors who have known me for years, and have seen me working multiple jobs while going to school (and making the dean’s list) have said that it would be too hard for me to do during the internship year. I will likely still babysit off and on for a few professors children, but I could not work 20+ hours a week like I have been. I want to budget to where if I have a babysitting dry spell that I could handle it. Also, at my retail job, I would be able to remain on the payroll if I worked 1 day every two weeks, which seems doable, but that is still only about $60, since I make about 8.00 an hour.
Yeah, I’ve worked multiple jobs myself. I am interviewing for a toddler teacher position at a church tomorrow for a second summer job. I work as a florist not, mostly on the weekend’s since my school schedule is 5 days a week. I have worked 7 days a week either at work or school since my freshman year. It’s helped me stave off a lot of loans, though.
@hosannac: I will have to look into mint.com! I’ve heard of it before, but never checked it out. I carpool now, with my boyfriend. The only problem with that next year is that he will be out of school, and we live in the appalachian’s. Things are really spread apart, and We really live in the middle of nowhere. BUT, That is a great idea. That’s how I’ve managed not to have to buy a ridiculously expensive parking pass this year. 🙂
Post # 7
Well the easy answer is spend less than you bring in! But you have to know a) what you can bring in (or have to start with = savings) and b) what you normally spend. I wouldn’t worry/budget for rising gas prices right now, perhaps just round up your guestimation. You still have to get the basic input-output equation down!
Is there a chance you will fall short – aka spend more than you have? Would student loans be warranted in this case?
There are several articles out there regarding the “ideal budget” but they don’t work for everyone. You don’t have housing so by this model you should have 30% extra in cash lying around!
To get more cash, you can eBay some itmes you don’t use. I have been keeping track of my expenses for nearly a decade now. It seems that every month, I get some extra cash somewhere. It could be a per diem from a work trip, a birthday gift, a tax refund, selling an item, $50 bonus from opening a checking account. It all adds up.
I am the queen of budgeting. Start with tracking all your expenses! Perhaps you can share back to see if you’re above-below-average with your expense categories per month.
Post # 8
@sienna76: There is definitely a chance. As long as everything goes smoothly I should be able to do it. It’ll be tough, since i’m so used to working, but doable if I’m diligent about adding to my savings this summer (yay 2nd job). The biggest concern of mine is that something will happen to my car (Which I know I need to budget for, but it’s hard with what little I make during the school year.) I”m afraid that I’ll stop working/ work MUCH less, and that my 97 chevy will fall apart LOL. Both my parent’s have cars that they’d let me drive, but the cost of fixing the car would probably strain me, and I may have to use a small loan in that case. I don’t have that much in loans already, I just want to avoid them as much as humanly possible.
Post # 9
I am telling you now, and I’ve posted this before, Gail Vaz-Oxlade is my budgeting GURU! Her books are amazing and her website has all sorts of interactive budgeting worksheets, articles about situations just like yours and more. As well, she has a Q & A page. If you ask her a question through email, she will actually respond on that page within a few weeks.
Her website is: http://www.gailvazoxlade.com/
The interactive budgeting worksheet is: http://www.gailvazoxlade.com/resources.html
The articles on HOW to budget are: http://www.gailvazoxlade.com/articles.html